Mini Coconut Meringue Pies

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I made these yesterday in honor of Pi day (March 14th) and they are cute and delicious as can be! This recipe is very loosely based on one I found on bonappetit.com (check it out: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2002/04/lemon_and_toasted-coconut_meringue_pie#) but, of course, miniaturized. I didn’t even realize when I started that it was supposed to be a lemon filling, but it was easy enough to sub out for coconut. I added heavy cream to make it a little creamier, and reduced the butter because I didn’t want it to be too savory. I also added a little extra sugar to taste and the vanilla listed below.
Keep in mind that I improvised quite a bit on this recipe, so these are my approximations of what I did. All the proportions listed below are halved from the original recipe, because I didn’t want to make a lot. However, I had a LOT of leftover filling and meringue, so you could either keep those proportions and make more pie shells or halve the filling and meringue recipes again.

Happy Baking!
-Maggie

Mini Coconut Meringue Pies

For Crust:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
A Pinch salt
6 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 large egg yolk
1.5 tablespoons (about) ice water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend flour, coconut and salt in food processor. Add butter and cut in, using on/off turns, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk egg yolk and ice water in small bowl to blend. Add to processor and blend until mixture begins to clump together, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill about an hour (flexible.)
Roll out dough on floured surface. Use a 1/3 cup measure to cut circles in dough. Press each circle into greased mini cupcake pan. Pierce crusts all over with fork (I skipped this originally and found that they puffed up, so I would recommend trying it.) Freeze until ready to bake.
Bake until crust is pale golden, about 15-20 minutes. Do not overbake; you will be putting these back in for a few minutes later. Let cool in pan.

For Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
3 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream

Whisk sugar and flour in medium saucepan to blend. Whisk in yolks, whole eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, coconut and salt. Whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens and just begins to boil around edges, about 6 minutes. Add butter; whisk until smooth. Cool 10 minutes.

For Meringue:
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup powdered sugar (plus a little more, to taste)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in large bowl until foamy. Add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Beat in remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat until stiff glossy peaks form, about 7 minutes. Gently fold coconut into meringue.

Assembly:
Fill each pie shell with about a teaspoon of filling. Drop meringue by the teaspoon on top of each pie and sprinkle with leftover coconut flakes. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes or until meringue is golden.  These are best served the day of or one day after because the meringue will start to collapse (especially if refrigerated.)

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